Rome, Italy, May 24, 2013 / 02:58 am
Rome's most well known exorcist says Pope Francis performed an exorcism in St. Peter's Square last Sunday and that the man was possessed because of Mexico's abortion law.
"The Pope, in good faith, got close to him and performed an exorcism on him in the form of a liberation prayer, not like the classical exorcism that one does with a book," said Father Gabriele Amorth in a May 22 evening interview with CNA.
"He is really a soul of God, which the Lord is using to criticize Mexico for legalizing abortion," he said.
According to Fr. Amorth, he himself performed an exorcism for over an hour on the Mexican man before the Pope prayed over him later that same day in St. Peter's Square.
"I'm well informed about that young man; a good, golden, young man, he appears younger than what he is," said Fr. Amorth. "He is 43 years-old (and) married with children."
"I saw John Paul II do this same prayer three times," he said. "Pope Francis laid his hands on him, prayed, and that's it. It is enough."
Fr. Amorth, aged 88, has performed over 70,000 exorcisms during the past 27 years. The number is high because carrying out an exorcism can require multiple sessions and each time the rite is administered it is counted as one instance.
After the interview with CNA, he made comments May 22 at Rome's Lepanto Foundation, a Catholic book organization where he was invited to speak on his two latest books: "The last exorcist, my battle against Satan" and "The sign of the exorcist, my latest battles against Satan."
"You must have noticed that in his 10 short speeches, this Pope has always mentioned 'his excellency,' the devil," he said during the evening meeting, which had a dramatic feel to it because of the subject matter and the pouring rain and thunder outside.
"What did he do last Sunday?" asked the exorcist. "When Mass finished, as he normally does, with his simplicity, he walked over to greet a few sick, and a Mexican priest pointed out to him a young man possessed by the devil."
He noted that the Pope "did not hide himself in this liberation prayer that he did on this young man at the Square."
"Jesus did exorcisms on the street, in homes, wherever," said Fr. Amorth. "I've had to change 23 places in Rome to be able to do exorcisms."
"I would like for everyone to attend exorcisms," he added. "I've seen many priests that, after having seen one, did not doubt anymore about the existence of Satan. One has to see it."
Fr. Amorth said people no longer believe in the devil now and there is a shortage of exorcists.
"Today there are no more exorcists because of the bishops," he charged. "I've been saying for 27 years that when a bishop doesn't provide, he commits a mortal sin."
"But not all bishops are in the state of mortal sin, shucks that would be a lot of bishops," he joked.
Fr. Amorth stated that everyone has the power to cast out devils if they have enough faith in Jesus Christ, and that these abilities are "gifts of the Holy Spirit."
"But if one truly has this gift he keeps it hidden and is humble about it," he pointed out.